OK, most everyone has an idea of wild blueberries and mushrooms (be mindful), but it’s a big world of possibilities. Who knows when they might become necessities. The plant world is robust. The entire dandelion can be steamed, but the best recommendation: Pinch the flower away the stem (and its bitter sap), and enjoy. The cattail plant is edible. The young tips and white stalk can be chopped. A guidebook called “The Happy Camper” by Kevin Callan has some solid advice. Callan suggests using the shoots as a substitute for potatoes in stew. Speaking of complements, the tubers at the end of arrow root can be eaten raw or added to soup, too. The water plant tends to grow along the edges of slow-moving rivers. Many species of pine have edible nuts in the cones in late summer and fall. Foraging for edibles is allowed on many public lands, but regulations vary. Collecting anything other than edible fruit and mushrooms is prohibited in state parks.

Bob Timmons